An economic land concession encompassing 9,053 hectares and belonging to the wife of Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat has been extended by 4,700 hectares and now includes part of a protected forest, according to a government document obtained by The Post late last week.
The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 21 this year, reclassifies land that includes a portion of the protected Phnom Aural forest in Kampong Speu’s Trapaing Chor commune in Oral district as an economic land concession granted to Kim Heang’s Kampong Speu Sugar company.
“The minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Minister of the Environment, all ministries and the governor of Kampong Speu province have to implement this sub-decree effectively starting from the date of signage,” the sub-decree read.
Ouch Leng, a land programme officer at the rights group Adhoc, yesterday claimed studies on how such concessions impact communities often aren’t made.
Pen Sambou, Kampong Speu deputy governor, claimed the environmental impact of the concession had been studied.